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Rockefeller wants answers on how the automakers plan to reach their customers by December 14, 2012

Hyundai Motors Co. and Kia Motors are both in hot water over exaggerated estimated gas mileage claims, and the senate wants answers. 

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee who oversees auto issues, wants Hyundai and Kia to explain how it will reach and compensate its 900,000 customers after inflating its MPG claims. 

So far, Hyundai and Kia have said they would reimburse customers and add a 15 percent premium by sending out debit cards that can be reloaded in the future. The automakers could spend over $100 million compensating for their exaggerations. 

"While I believe this is a positive step, I am concerned that many affected customers may not learn about the program or may find it burdensome to participate in the program," said Rockefeller. 

Rockefeller wants answers on how the automakers plan to reach these customers by December 14, 2012.

The Kia Soul got hit hard with the revised EPA ratings

Back in December 2011, Consumer Watchdog called on the EPA to investigate Hyundai over its fuel economy claims. Hyundai claimed that its Elantra achieved 29 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on highway. However, the organization received a higher-than-usual number of complaints that real-world mileage was in the mid-20 mpg range.

From there, the EPA investigated Hyundai for misleading mileage claims and found that the fuel economy estimates of most of its 2012-2013 models were inflated. The same goes for Kia. Both Kia and Hyundai will be lowering the fuel economy estimates on the majority of their 2012 to 2013 models after EPA testing discovered a gap between its data and what both of the companies are claiming.

Hyundai and Kia admitted to overstating the estimated fuel economy on window stickers of about 900,000 vehicles sold since late 2010. Reports show that Hyundai alone could spend $100 million trying to fix the fiasco. 

Some of the MPG window stickers that will require a change include the Hyundai Accent and the Kia Soul ECO. The Accent had its 30/40/33 (city/highway/combined) rating drop to 28/37/31. The Kia Soul ECO saw the biggest drop of any affected model going from 27/35/30 to 24/29/26.

Source: The Detroit News

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RE: Is this a big deal?
By FaaR on 12/1/2012 12:17:41 PM , Rating: 2
It's kind of a big deal if a manufacturer decides to lie to you in order to ensure a sale, and when it's about something as expensive as a car it's even more worrysome, wouldn't you say?

It IS a big deal if manufacturers decide that it's more profitable to be dishonest than telling the truth. It's actually hella worrysome, which is why this kind of behavior needs to be stomped on really really hard. Not just fines for the company, but also prison time for board executives. Look at melamine scandal (and other food related disasters) in china as an example of what can happen when companies put profits above honesty.

RE: Is this a big deal?
By Dr of crap on 12/3/2012 8:30:58 AM , Rating: 3
OK, but is it worth the congress time and effort????

Yes they mis-stated mpg numbers. So we need the govt to step in and like they always do take to much time and waste our tax money on something so stupid? As stated on here MOST drivers will not experience stated mpg number no matter what is on the window sticker.

Give back some money - ok, but lets not get congress anymore involved - please.
It's not like the cars are burning up with anyone inside!
They're just using a bit more gas!

RE: Is this a big deal?
By Rukkian on 12/3/2012 9:59:27 AM , Rating: 2
When you get a bunch of constituents wanting something done, this is exactly what a congress person should be doing. One customer cannot get much done, but if enough get together, it should be dealt with. Whether it is congress or another agency, it is still tax dollars. The government should be looking out for issues like this and penalizing the companies involved.

To me, this is much better than the bickering and political fighting that normally happens in congress right now on both sides.

As to your statement that most consumers will not see the numbers anyways, that does not matter, as I am sure if there is a 5-10% difference in gas money at the posted numbers, there should be at least that much difference for the typical driver as well.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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